The fact is, we ALREADY pay for our privilege to be a legal presence on the road. We subsidize motor vehicles with our disproportionate amount of taxes paid to the amount of road damage that is incurred by our bicycles.
Bicycles, on average (according to several sources, including DOT numbers), ablate the road surfaces at about a 9500:1 to 10,000:1, comparing a standard sedan to a single bicycle. And that is just for the surface ablation. Roads also are damaged and need repair due to structural flexation caused by a mass which vertically stresses the road. No talk is ever mentioned as to how much "a bicycle" or "tens of thousands" have on this structural degradation, because it is essentially nil. You can't pack 10,000 bicycles into the square footage imprint of a single sedan, let alone a truck, or RV, or semi to create the same force that causes structural breakdown. The weight distribution is spread out over a huge area for the same mass of a car (still sticking to the car as an example). With the structural degradation component pretty much taken out of the "tax responsible" mix, that leaves only the ablation issue, and that is clearly demonstrated to be "cost effective" in favor of the bicycle.
In my county, 75% of the county road budget (new projects, maintenance, personnel, etc.), is met with property taxes. Whether you rent, lease, own property, or are paying for staying at a motel or campground facility, you are paying 75% of the road budget. You could just sit at home all day and night, eating Cheetos and watching classic movies, and never drive personally on the road, and pay this amount. Some of the following other contributors to the road budget are: interest payments on county bonds and other programs, licensing and registration fees for vehicles and least of all, the $ collected from the gas taxes. In the county budget, between 1 to 2 % of the county road maintenance program come from gas taxes collected.
In my experience, most cyclists own and use a motor vehicle as well as supplement their transportational needs with cycling. Therefore, they are meeting another financial contribution to the road budget equation, beyond the property taxes they are paying. The other interest payments garnered into the budget plan is also a part of everyone's contribution. That leaves us with only the gas taxes not directly derived from bicycle use. But wait! Since most cyclists drive also, they are already paying into that portion of the budget, and considering the "proportionate bicycle to single sedan degradation" factors, that would give us staggering numbers showing how the cyclist is essentially subsidizing motor vehicle users, and not the other way around. How many millions of miles would you need to travel on your bike to require the same road maintenance as you would for a simple drive across town in your car?
If your paying for all those taxes above, like a huge percentage of us already do, the cyclist is paying way more than their fair of the tax burden to accommodate All forms of legal road users to have the privilege of using "our" roads. Next time you get some low life yelling at you from their motor vehicle to get off the road because you don't pay for the privilege of using it ( and therefore have the right to run you over), yell back at them that you proportionately pay more than they do for using a bike, and if their argument is whoever pays the most should tell the others users to get the f*#k off the road, then they need to get the f*#k off of our road, by their very own argument.
But we are better than they are, so we understand we need to share the cost (as we already do) and we need to share the road.